While there is no way to guarantee that the dance floor will be packed all night, there are some basic rules and guidelines that can help steer you toward the perfect DJ for your event. Above all, when you are interviewing DJs, remember that not only will he be playing the music, he will also be on the microphone talking to your guests during the evening. If you meet someone that canít stop talking about himself or on the other hand, seems shy and uncomfortable Ė he may not be the right guy for the job!
Some Questions to Ask Potential DJs
Can I meet with you beforehand?
Some companies will try to book the event over the phone or they will have a meeting with you and then "assign" your wedding to one of their colleagues. Make sure you get to meet with the actual person who will be the DJ at your wedding before you sign anything!
Are you insured? Can you supply me with proof of liability?
Many responsible business owners carry liability insurance to protect their businesses and the consumer. Many locations also require proof of liability and may not allow vendors on their premises without adequate insurance. Ask for proof of liability insurance. Disc Jockeys receive a Certificate of Liability which can be used as proof.
Will you be willing to play requests and discuss music ahead of time?
A versatile Disc Jockey is willing to listen to your suggestions, give you feedback and play from your desired song list. A professional Disc Jockey will also accept the fact you may not want certain songs played. He should listen to your requests rather than telling you what HE likes to play!
Do you provide backup equipment at my event?
Although equipment failure is rare, do you really want your special occasion ruined because your Disc Jockey did not come prepared? Make sure they bring backup equipment!
What happens if you get sick or have a family emergency and cannot DJ my wedding?
No one can guarantee their health or that an accident wonít take place, but it is important to know if your Disc Jockey has a back-up plan in case of illness or an accident. If he works for a professional DJ company, they will usually have someone in their staff prepared in the case of an emergency, whereas some solo DJs might not have the same resources available. (You donít want a call from his roommate telling you, "Don't worry, I've seen him use the equipment, I'll figure it out!!")
Do you have experience with weddings?
A professional Disc Jockey will assist you with the planning of your special day. Most professional entertainers will coordinate, emcee and provide the music that you desire. Ask if they have experience with weddings. If not, find someone who does!
How much time do you allow for set-up?
Punctuality is a necessity. Most Disc Jockey's arrive at least one hour prior to the start time you've given them. Your entertainer should be setup and in-place before your first guest walks through the door.
Do you provide a written contract?
It is extremely important to have your booking confirmed in writing. Ask for a written agreement, especially if you are paying an initial retainer. The standard initial payment for entertainment services is 50%.
Will you be suitably dressed for our occasion?
Specify the type of apparel that your Disc Jockey is expected to wear for your occasion. Shirt and tie, black dress shirt and slacks, or coat & tie are the most popular forms of attire. If you are having a "themed" event, make sure your entertainer is informed.
Other Items to Note
Disc Jockey rates vary based on talent, experience, emcee ability, service, coordination, equipment needed, music knowledge, mixing ability and personality.
Rates for the DJ industry vary greatly, ranging from $350.00 to over $5,000.00 with an average of $1,000.00 to $1,200.00 for a 4 hour booking. The best price is not always the best deal, especially if you are planning a wedding. As a matter of fact, surveys conclude that nearly 100% of brides would have spent more money on their entertainment and made it their #1 priority in hindsight.
A full-service disc jockey company will normally invest 12 to 30 hours to your special event but it may appear that you are only paying for "4 or 5 hours". Consultations, music purchasing & editing, preparation, set-up and tear-down, education and other business related endeavors add up to the overall success of your special occasion.
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